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Wikihistory

Wikipedia is – according to its own detailed entry – the sixth most visited website in the world, home to 21 million articles and the default point of reference for an estimate 365 million readers. But it has also been the subject of some notable criticism – not least from some historians – for neglecting references and being open to abuse.

Speaking about this subject at a New Media Conference in 2011 I realised that it was really important for historians to utilise the opportunities Wikipedia offers and use it to share academic insight that might otherwise remain hidden. Wikihistory posts aim to do just. Some publicise edits that improve the rigour of current entries. Others point out new pages that share previously hidden knowledge.

See, for examples:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Industrial_Charter

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paper_Salvage_1939-1950

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Commission_on_the_Press,_United_Kingdom

For a slightly dated – but interesting – academic take on Wikipedia’s role in historical understanding see also Roy Rosenweig’s ‘Can History be Open Source’. More information can be found on Vitae’s digital researcher website.

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